RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis would run away with the seat, defeating incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan by 7 points.
The poll from Ramussen Reports, shows likely North Carolina voters giving Tillis 47 percent of the vote, with Hagan drawing 40 percent. Ten percent say they are undecided, and 3 percent chose another candidate.
The poll is the first look at North Carolina's hotly contested seat by national pollster Rasmussen.
Tillis is by no means assured that he will be the Republican nominee. To do that, he must defeat a handul of other Republican hopefuls in the May 6 primary election. If no one garners the necessary 40 percent, the fight for the GOP nomination will head to a summer runoff.
While Hagan is behind in the poll, she is far ahead in fundraising.
Hagan's team reports $6.8 million on hand, having brought in more than $2 million in the last three months of 2013.
Tillis' side has reported having $1.3 million on hand, with $700,000 raised in final quarter of the year.
The House Speaker is one of seven Republicans seeking the Republican Party's nomination to challenge Hagan. The others are Greg Brannon, Mark Harris, Heather Grant, Bill Flynn, Ted Alexander, and Edward Kryn.
Hagan has drawn her own in-party challenger. Fred Westphal says he will seek the Democratic Party's nomination for the U.S. Senate seat.
Candidate David Waddell is also in the race. He says he will run on the Constitution Party ticket.